Today is the first day of the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh. Because the G-20 nations represent 80 percent of world trade, it makes sense to look at America’s position within it. The above chart shows our trade balances with respect to the G-20 nations; the numbers are below.
What stands out is the size of America's trade deficit. In 2008, we ran a trade deficit of over $550 billion with G-20 nations (plus another $180 billion with OPEC). We can't keep this up forever. It’s good in the short-term for our lenders, but it’s bad in the long-term for everyone.
Please keep these numbers in mind as other countries complain about the U.S. on trade. Trade is only fair if it goes both ways.
Read more in our report, Pittsburgh, G-20 and the New Economy: Lessons to Learn, Choices to Make.
(Personal note: Rebecca Lehrman helped a lot with this post).